Hamilton optimistic about Mercedes’ success in F1 ‘adversity’

Lewis Hamilton optimistic Mercedes has made progress to the call Formula 1 leaders and said that the “adversities” of fighting to keep up had brought the team closer together.

On the eve of Sunday Azerbaijan Grand Prixthe seven-time champion finished just once on the podium in seven races, his worst start to a season since 2009, after Mercedes had to redesign a car that started the year with a tendency to bounce and shake at high speed.

Can I say that this is the best, most exciting trip? nope, but it’s an experience and it brings the team together,” Hamilton said Friday before training. “It forces us all to hone our tools. Technology is evolving a lot to be understood and we are getting closer than ever before. I guess that’s what happens when you face adversity and so there are many, many positives.”

Hamilton said the updates the team brought at last month’s Spanish Grand Prix “gave us more direction to go and that was positive” as he and teammate George Russell try to chase title contenders Max Verstappen from Red Bull and Charles Leclerc Ferrari.

However, the reason for Hamilton’s optimism did not immediately appear at Friday’s training sessions. The British driver set only the 12th fastest time, more than 1.6 seconds behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and five places behind Russell.

Sergio Perez: the main thing in Baku is not to make mistakes

Leclerc set the pace, 0.248 seconds ahead of him. Sergio Perez in the second practical session. Championship leader Max Verstappen posted the third fastest time, 0.356 seconds behind Leclerc. Prez held the first session.

Russell is still chasing his first F1 win and has warned that Mercedes will likely be left behind. Red Bull and Ferrari in Azerbaijan and he needs more time to develop his car to challenge the best teams.

“The car we had (for the first race of 2022) in Bahrain was kind of the maximum potential and from that point on we couldn’t improve it,” he said. “Sometimes you have to take a small step back to take three steps forward and I think we are in that transition at the moment. I think it will be a few more races before we start, hopefully, fighting Ferrari and Red Bull.

points leader Verstappen and Leclerc both were disappointed last year in Azerbaijan. The Dutchman blew a tire at high speed and threw him into the wall in a dramatic crash, while Leclerc started from pole position but lacked speed and dropped to fourth. This echoes Leclerc’s recent struggles – he took pole in each of his last three races but failed to turn any of them into wins as Verstappen overtook him in the standings. The last race in Monaco was especially bitter as Ferrari made a false pit call and robbed him of his chance to win on home soil.

Lewis Hamilton steers his car during the first free practice at the Baku track.AP

“Obviously there was a lot to analyze at Monaco because we made some mistakes,” said Leclerc, who is nine points behind Verstappen. “What gives me confidence in the future is that we found the reasons why we made these mistakes as a team… We just need to focus on ourselves, not make other mistakes. And if we do everything perfectly, I’m sure we can get a great result this weekend.”

Last year’s winner in Baku was Verstappen’s teammate Pérez, who is coming into the weekend on an upswing after winning in Monaco and a new Red Bull contract. Now a title contender himself, 15 points behind Verstappen, Pérez said contract negotiations did not define him as Verstappen’s wingman.

“There is nothing in my contract that says I have to finish second or anything like that,” he said. “So there was no topic at all in the contract.”


Source link